If you have coaches, Learning & Development and/or Organisational Development (L&OD) specialists in your organisation, then we’d highly recommend robust external coaching supervision. We have always recommended this as a professional responsibility – but in these days of COVID-19, furloughing, redundancies, changed roles and responsibilities, widespread new working practices, your HR professionals, heads of people, listeners, coaches and L&OD specialists are likely to be carrying a heavier load than usual in terms of human concerns, questions, insecurities, curiosities – as well as need for pace and delivery. External coaching supervision is a wonderful way to support your coaches and practitioners with objective resource, with ‘no skin in the game’ organisationally.
Supervision is the time and place for coaches to develop self-awareness, skills and reflections as well as awareness to systemic themes and patterns. It’s a necessary time for coaches to remain well-resourced and able to provide successful and scalable coaching for your people. We would go so far as to say it’s a duty of care from an employer to a coach.
Three aspects of supervision which are often described from Proctor’s supervision model of 2001, are “restorative, formative and normative”. These are straight-forward, helpful ways to look at the role of coaching supervision in the organisational context:
Restorative provides support, release, resource.
Formative for learning and growth.
Normative for reflection on quality assurance, ethical practice and public protection.
Great supervision remains ‘adult to adult’ in approach; a collaborative thinking space, where both coach and supervis meet to explore, to think, to reflect and to learn. It provides coaches the space to explore issues and challenges that arise, in a confidential space, thus driving up the quality of coaching which is delivered across the organisation, as well as supporting coaches and their own practice.
As the calibre and professional regulation of coaching improves, so the need for high calibre professional supervision goes up too.
How do we deliver supervision?
The Coach Supervisor team at Clearworks is proud and happy to uphold the code of ethics of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council and works with clients from every size of business globally. Supervision can be conducted online, face to face when circumstances permit, one to one and in groups. Just as choosing the right coach is critical, the same is true for supervision and we are happy to provide biographies on request. Our most experienced coach supervisor is the fabulous Sally Bernham. Sally is Course Director for the Certificate in Coaching at The University of Cambridge, Institute of Continuing Education, and has taught and supervised hundreds of coaches. We’re honoured to have Sally on the team at Clearworks and would recommend her to any organisation in the role of coach, coach supervisor and coach trainer.